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Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Sweet and sour pork cheeks with noodles, by Mark Sargeant

01 December 2011

INGREDIENTS (Serves four)
2-3tbs olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12-16 pig's cheeks (about 700g), trimmed of fat and sinew
3tbs honey
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, chopped
2-3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
6-8 cloves
1tbs tomato purée
750ml brown chicken stock
125ml white wine

METHOD Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat the oil in a casserole. Season the cheeks, coat them with 2 tablespoons of honey and brown them over a high heat until golden. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add the carrots, leek, celery, onion and garlic, then cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, cloves and tomato purée, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Now add the remaining tablespoon of honey and cook for another 2-3 minutes to caramelise all the vegetables. Add the stock and wine and bring to the boil. Season, cover and transfer to the oven.

After 21/2-3 hours, remove the cheeks from the oven, lift them from the stock and reserve. Strain the stock and place in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil and allow the mixture to reduce to a semi-sticky sauce before putting the cheeks back into it. Warm through for 2-3 minutes and serve on top of hot buttered noodles.

From Mark Sargeant's My Kind of Cooking

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